Indigo Uses in an Ancient Medical Formularies

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Narongsak Rawarin

Abstract


This article presents a study on the use of indigo (Indigofera tinctoria L.) as described in ancient herbal medicine books in which Kram/Kam (indigo) or Moh Nil (indigo pot dye) is defined as a specific term. The term “indigo” is mentioned in 45 herbal drug recipes from 2 sets of herbal drug books including: (1) 10 herbal drug books under the Northeastern palm-leaf manuscript conservation project at Mahasarakham University where indigo is used as an ingredient in 36 herbal recipes; and (2) 7 transliterated documents on herbal recipes (both published and unpublished) by the researchers where indigo is stated in 9 herbal recipes. Particularly, those 2 sets of documents highlight 45 kinds of diseases from 45 herbal recipes that can be classified into 9 groups including 1) black death, 2) black magic, 3) fever/blister, 4) dental and oral cavity diseases, 5) abscess, 6) poisoning, 7) leucorrhoea, 8) rashes, and 9) other ailments. Furthermore, indigo is used as an ingredient in 10 herbal formulas and as liquid vehicle or ingredient in 5 herbal products. Meanwhile, there are 13 ways of indigo usage and preparation, namely drinking/healing, soaking, pouring, boiling, cutting, grinding, rubbing, scratching, fumigation, keeping in the mouth, inhaling, praying, and spraying with the mouth.



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Review Article
Author Biography

Narongsak Rawarin, N/A

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References

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